Council tax to go up to try and plug funding gap

TAMESIDE Council chiefs insist there is no other option than to raise council tax by the maximum available 4.99 per cent – or by just over £50 per year for a band A property.

And leader Cllr Brenda Warrington admitted they were ‘panicking’ at one stage and ‘difficult decisions’ may need to be taken.

The authority’s budget gap has grown by almost £3.5 million over the past 12 months, while the amount collected may have dropped by just over £5.5m.

That has brought the executive cabinet to approve the proposal to up the rate people will have to pay for the next financial year.

Cllr Brenda Warrington

And member for finance, Cllr Oliver Ryan pointed the finger of blame firmly towards the Government.

Tameside Council’s director of finance Kathy Roe revealed the funding gap had grown from £19.6 to £23 million, with a report admitting £6.4 million of income from the Manchester Airport Dividend will now not be paid until at least 2025.

It also stated: “This savings programme is ambitious and will require relentless focus on planning, project management and delivery.

“The council faces a significant budget gap beyond 2021-22 and this budget gap will increase if planned reductions in spending are not delivered in 2021-22.

“A failure to turn around these budget areas will in turn result in an inability to set a balanced budget in future years and raise questions about the Council’s ability to deliver value for money services for its residents.

“The scale of the budget gap in future years requires immediate action to ensure transformational changes can be achieved, and ensure the council is well placed to respond to changing demands.”

Ms Rose added to the cabinet: “There has to be a key focus on delivery.

“We need a relentless focus on delivering the £9m savings that have been identified, along with the early assessment and delivery of the £13.8m savings proposed for the following financial year, with a drive to keep identifying even more savings opportunities to address our ongoing financial challenge.

“We’re assuming our council tax and business rates collection rates are reduced by about £5.6 million that is due to the effects of Covid also and the ongoing increase of people in need of payment support.

“We’ll need to utilise 2021-22 as a transition year which will have to go further on the propositions we’re going to need to implement to ensure we have a sustainable future.

Cllr Oliver Ryan

“When we sat here last year, we always knew this was going to be a tough budget round to close but now we’ve experienced one of, if not the most difficult year in our lifetime it’s not surprising our challenge has increased even further.”

The executive cabinet agreed to recommend the increase, which equates to £50.83 a year for a band A property, or 98p a week.

It will be made up of a three per cent increase for the adult social care precept and a 1.99 per cent general increase and will be further debated at a meeting of the full council on February 23.

Cllr Warrington, however, spelled out just how vital this budget is, admitting: “We were panicking at one time.”

She said: “It’s subject to a lot of assumptions, one of the main ones being that we will deliver this.

“We know that in that delivery there may well be some difficult decisions that will have to be carried through.

“It’s not going to be easy, we don’t pretend that.

“We have to make sure we show determination and it’s in the best interests going forward of everyone in Tameside that we continue to deal with our finances in the most appropriate way.”

Cllr Ryan described the raise as a ‘small ask’ but said it was only being put forward because of a lack of Government support.

He said: “Raising council tax and cutting services is not something people come into politics for but unfortunately because of the way we’ve been left by the Government to deal with our own demand and services without the support we need, we’re having to face that prospect.

“Without this rise we wouldn’t be able to sustain services in the way we currently do. It’s not something we want to do and if Government had given us an alternative, we would’ve taken it.”

8 Replies to “Council tax to go up to try and plug funding gap”

  1. So every houshold will have to cover the shortfall of toxic investment of Manchester Airport?
    What proportion of households don’t use the airport?
    Most people will not be using it in the foreseeable future
    I personally have not been through the airport any more tha 3 times in the last 10 years and I paid airport fees on my bookings?
    Quoting £50 on every band A property is one thing, how about the higher bands.
    Council tax payer the soft target once again.

  2. Absolutely a joke now already pay £147 month I am 72 husband 76 pensions gone up a couple of pounds and council tax taking it off us stop wasting our money on building stupid things already ruined the market

  3. I have some savings for the pot. Borough legal services should be put to tender as every other service has. Remove payments for councillors on every comittee. Get rid of borough mayor as not needed only ceremonial. Cap all Tameside Exec expences claims. Reduce councillors from 3 to 2 possibly 1. Start selling land to builders for real money not mates rates. Employ staff with private sector experience who know how to run a business rather than keep promoting the muppets who couldn’t cut it in the real world.

  4. Are you for real? In the middle of the pandemic with no end so far and people losing their jobs you increase it by 5%? We will end up paying more than 150 per month which is way to much and the biggest household bill.You should be ashamed really..

  5. Thanks a bunch Tameside council Like many of us still fortunate enough to have a job I haven’t had a pay rise for 3 years and no chance of one due to the pandemic and Brexit but I still have to find more and more money for WHAT!!!!! I see no benefit or return there no investment for the masses . I have lived here for 22 years my council tax has gone from £30 per month to nearly £100 per month !!!!! over treble the amount and services have depleted !!!!

  6. Are Tameside Council for real? I ask this because no one within the Council have any real business acumen. The Councillors don’t either or else someone would step in and say enough is enough. This cannot go on. Chief Executive pay with pension paid, over £240,000 per year, Borough solicitor over £200,000 plus per year. That’s is nearly half a million pounds wages for two people.
    Why are these two people paid this much for what little they do. Both Tameside MBC and Oldham Borough should join forces with these types of jobs being shared, so there is only one Chief executive and one Borough Solicitor per two Boroughs.
    We do not need a paid Civic Mayor. This is now, “Jobs for the boys”. This carried £17.000. per year for each Mayor. The mayor who has no additional expenses associated with this role, except a cheap suit/male and female.
    The last thing, “Stop voting these buggers in”. Give another political group a chance, even if its against the grain because your great grandparents and parents etc always voted for this Labour Party.
    This is the only way that you will see some real changes with the residents’ in their Wards being the real winners for a change.

    1. What I also missed out was that the need for three Councillors per Ward is totally unnecessary. let us try One Councillor for each ward for two terms. The savings would be enormous.

  7. All the comments in this “have your say” section I agree with completely. The running of Tameside council has never been value for money, they are too lazy to find the best vendor; this is evident since the news broke of the now defunct Carillion holding the TMBC tender for 99 years, who does that? Then scrambling around the money pot to finish the vanity project that is the town hall in A-U-L. Looking back through these comments doesn’t tell me we are all bitter, it tells me that there is something markedly wrong with how our money spent with those the constituent has entrusted to do so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *